Signs of Mischief

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Roger Gastman is a great collector of things. Weird classifieds, rare graffiti propaganda, children’s toys, vintage spraypaint, art by serial killers… he’s got it all and more. For TOOLS OF CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, his most recent show which opens tonight at The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery in LA, Roger has placed on display a robust selection of these artifacts for viewing and consumption. Since his instagram is about the only way we can observe Roger’s daily collectings, we pulled images of some of our favorite digital ephemera, and asked Roger to explain. What follows is the result of our online conversation also known as “explain this picture.”

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Portrait of a Bygone Era of New York City Culture

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Manfred Kirchheimer’s newly restored 1981 film Stations of the Elevated premieres at BAM on June 27th. Achieving cult status with those embedded in the hip-hop and cinema communities, the film—the original soundtrack of which featured a heavy dose of Charles Mingus—will be accompanied by live music from the Mingus Dynasty.

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WANE-spotting

Anyone who has been on the streets of NYC in the past year would be blind not to have noticed the bold work of WANE COD gracing the sides of box trucks and vans across the five boroughs. Here’s a sampling courtesy of the ISOking

The Greatest Trains Ever

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From an old issue of Stress Magazine: Top NYC writers (and Henry Chalfant) pick their favorite painted trains.

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A Russian Police Search and Questioning, Animated

Inside My Backpack by 0331с and Stas Dobry

Air Gêmeos

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Using 1200 cans of spray paint, Os Gêmeos recently finished a commission to paint the Brazilian national soccer team’s airplane. A can’t miss sight on the tarmac, the plane will carry the players and personnel from city to city during the World Cup.

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More Than 5 Words

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Forever a rule breaker, Banksy made a video about his Residency in New York City as his acceptance speech for The Webby’s Person of the Year, .

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Snot Hatch

A collaborative zine between GIANT and JOKER that was published by The Skullz Press back in 2001.

“It’s supposed to discredit their work . . . and break their manhood”

vandal-squad

Under a new directive, the NYPD is arming all of their officers with spray paint to buff tags across the 5 boroughs. With instructions to photograph the mark, “spray a square around the tag and then fill it in” with black, red or white spray paint, even the cops think “this whole graffiti program is ridiculous.” Broken windows, baby.

Printables

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The New Must-Have for Luxury Buildings: Graffiti by Elizabeth Greenspan

Graffiti is used to sell lots of things, of course. In the nineties, Nike and Coca-Cola began hiring well-known graffiti artists to paint large-scale murals and to help design advertising campaigns targeted at young people. Other industries—fashion, vodka, fast food—followed. But the real-estate industry’s use of graffiti is different; after all, taggers don’t vandalize sneakers. Historically, property owners and developers have tended to consider graffiti a sign of decay that lowers property values. But that was before people started finding grittiness really cool.

Almost Finished

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An online zine focused on the work of graffiti artists who ran out of time

Grime Time

Select photos from 1980s New York by Steven Siegel

Morning Dose of Ballerinas on Walls

Anthony Lister in Miami.

Film by Colin M. Day

Morning Dose of Aerosol Can

Mike Giant’s penmanship gets the spotlight in this new Major Lazer video featuring Pharrell. Nice one!

Crime Sprays

Passengers hurled “objects and insults” at a trio of kids who rolled up to paint the last Hitachi train to run in Melbourne.

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The Most Mainstream Vandal On Earth

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Gotta love a new Banksy or two.

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Sending Your Feet Down Memory Lane

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There was a Puma shoe that was very popular with graffiti writers in DC in the early 90s. It was worn by those who didn’t wear gazelles or had moved on from gazelles, and came in an assortment of colors. I think our friend Roger Gastman had purple? From the look of this Icra Trainer model, Puma might be bringing that shoe back. Or maybe this is that shoe? 20+ years of footwear leaves holes in the memory. 

Thierry Noir: Painting Walls

French street artist Thierry Noir was one of the first artists to paint the Berlin Wall, way back in 1984. In this video, he reflects on how street art changed his life.

 

Anti-Graffiti Propaganda Case Study No.1

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A new print from Roger Gastman’s Tools of Criminal Mischief series.

Available here

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